Rented A Car - Got A Flat - Left on side of Road for 5 hrs - Need Advice

K Hardge

New Member
I have a question about a situation that occurred with a rental car company. I rented a vehicle April 1st of 2017. On May 2nd, 2017 the vehicle had a flat tire as I was travelling from New Orleans, LA to Texas with myself, my 2 children, and our dog. We were moving some of our final belongings which is why I rented the truck. It was approximately 10:15 pm and I called customer service for road side assistance. I was advised that road side would arrive in approximately 45 min to 1 hr. Approximately 11:00pm Pop-A-Lock showed up to change the tire, but come to find out the tools necessary to change the tire were not in the vehicle. (NOTE: 4500 miles on the vehicle, owner's manual still in the cellophane wrapping, new vehicle.) Pop-A-Lock left me as he could not complete the order. I contact Customer Service and connected to Roadside ... I was asked if I could find someone to stay with my child and dog on the side of the road as they could not find a two truck to accommodate my party. I am a single mom of 2. There was no one. I was finally picked up by a tow truck at 3:15am. Because they did not ensure that this new car came with the tools to change a flat, I was stranded on the side of the road for 5 hrs. But that does not end the story, I was towed back to Lafayette Airport and left in a parking lot with my two children and dog for 3 more hours to wait for the rental car company to open. I feel like this car company had no regard for the safety of myself and my children. I rented a car for the security and safety of the rental and ended up on the side of a busy highway and then in a airport parking lot at the hands of any crazy person.

I feel like I am owed some compensation for their disregard for our safety. I missed my flight for work to NC the next day ($700). I had to take off the next day as I was not able to head home until nearly 9am. We ended up in severe thunderstorms driving home with little to no sleep. I got written up for work due to not showing up at a training with my client. Simply because the tools necessary to change a flat were not in the brand new vehicle.

I have tried to contact this rental company for 4 weeks now. I have left messages for the manage, area manage, and director. Two employees have sent emails on my behalf and on the 24th of this month, I got a letter now claiming that there is damage to the vehicle which it was signed off on the 3rd when we exchanged cars that there was no damage.

I am at wits end and don't know what to do or if I should pursue any type of compensation. At first I think an apology would have sufficed but the blatent disregard of my situation has made me angry. It is not okay to treat a client who spends thousands of dollars with this company like this.

Advice please.
When renting a car these days I always take pictures using my mobile phone and inventory the vehicle BEFORE departing the lot looking for spare tire and tools.

I suggest you endeavor to appeal to the better nature of the rental company executives as you seek some token of compensation for your distress and discomfort.
The tow issue was inconvenient, but you are sometimes at the mercy of who is available for the location you are at. In the end you did receive the service and you were provided a replacement vehicle. Unless there is something in the rental agreement that assures this is done in a certain time frame (which there isn't) this complaint may not go far.
Your missed flight isn't their problem either. You might be offered a future rental discount or something else to appease you, but don't expect them to pay for the cost of the ticket. You apparently had hours to make necessary phone calls, notify people of the delay, and attempt to arrange a later flight.
If they accepted the vehicle when you returned it and did not note any damage them you are likely in the clear. Whatever damage they found apparently happened after you returned the car.

I don't see that you have much to work with to pursue compensation in court. The flat tire isn't anyone's fault. The missing tools can be attributed to both parties.